If you love Walt Disney animation, then you may want to take a trip to The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens (The Huntington) in San Marino, CA, sooner than later.

The Huntington is hosting an international traveling exhibition, “Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts,” now through until March 27, 2023, in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery.

“Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts” installation view.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Just in time for the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, this exhibition of approximately 50 works of art will explore 18th-century French decorative arts that served as inspiration for some of Disney’s celebrated animated films, including Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty! Many of the pieces are featured alongside hand-drawn production artworks and works on paper from Walt Disney Animation Research Library, Walt Disney Archives, Walt Disney Imagineering Collection, and The Walt Disney Family Museum.

Mary Blair (American, 1911–1978), Cinderella in front of a mirror, concept art for Cinderella
(1950), 1940s. Gouache, graphite, and ink on board, 12 x 10 in. (30.5 x 25.4 cm). Walt Disney
Animation Research Library. © Disney.

I’m excited to check out the exhibit before it ends, and will be sure to share my experience here and on instagram! You can purchase tickets, plan your visit and make reservations here.

About the Exhibition

For those of you that didn’t know, Walt Disney (1901-1966) served as an ambulance driver after World War I. He grew a deep affection for France, and was fascinated by Europe and European style art. Walt’s visits to Europe inspired him and his studio team, and sparked his love for collecting and building miniatures – we eventually see this through all the worlds he created through theme parks and films. And, if you visit The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, you can see some of his miniatures on display! The exhibit has multiple sections exploring the comparisons of film and inanimate objects, time periods, architecture and more. A fully illustrated catalog, Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts, by Wolf Burchard, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, is available at the Huntington Store or online at thehuntingtonstore.org.

About the Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a cultural and educational institution of global significance. Building on Henry E. and Arabella Huntington’s renowned collections, The Huntington supports research and promotes education in the arts, humanities, and botanical science through the growth and preservation of its collections; the development of a community of scholars, school programs, and partnerships; and the display and interpretation of its extraordinary resources for diverse audiences. The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Visitor information: huntington.org.

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